Air India, Saudi Airlines to fly Haj pilgrims from Oct 30

October 24th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) More than 120,000 Haj pilgrims from India will travel to Jeddah on two airliners - India’s flagship carrier, Air India, and Saudi Airlines, a Gulf air carrier, - from 17 Indian cities from Oct 30, an airline official said Friday.While Air India will fly 63,511 pilgrims, Saudi Airlines will carry 59,700 pilgrims.

Executive director and spokesperson of Air India Jitender Bhargava told IANS Friday that Air India would ferry the pilgrims on 400 flights.

The airlines will have an equal number of flights back from Jeddah to India after the Haj. The entire process is expected to end by Jan 12 next year.

The government has allowed 123,211 Haj pilgrimage this year. While Haj pilgrims were flown to Jeddah from 15 cities last year, two more destinations have been added this year. These include Aurangabad and Indore.

The Haj pilgrimage is the major annual event where millions of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world arrive in Jeddah on their way to Makkah. Haj is one of the five tenets of Islam and is every Muslim’s desire to perform Haj at least once in his lifetime.

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